Hi, my name is Miloche (Me-lowsh), and I’m a 12-year-old Japanese Chin. I live in Virginia with my mom and dad, three other dogs, and a cat, so I’m part of a large family, but I’m the one in charge. If you’re here, you’re probably a pet lover, and may even have a pet of your own. I’m going to walk you through a typical day for me and give you some unfiltered insight into what it’s like being a dog, so you can better care for your furry family.
Early Morning Routine
My day starts early. I like to take a short potty break no later than 6 a.m. My dad wakes up early for work, so he usually lets me out, but if he sleeps in, I take it upon myself to get him up and moving. As a small dog, I find this easiest to do from his belly, so I’ll hop on his bed, crawl onto his chest, and give his face a good smack or two until he gets up. While I’m taking a bathroom break, he usually wakes up the other family dogs so we can all go outside together.
My morning routine is vital to the safe operations of the household and is ultimately the foundation for my day. While in the backyard, I inspect the perimeter for any potential damage or intrusion overnight. Once the yard is considered clear and safe, I tend to my business, followed by a good, long stretch. Before heading back inside, I check if Shadow, the German Shepard from next door, is out. We are friendly, but I like to remind him which side of the fence is his.
Once back inside, I grab a quick drink of water and enjoy some breakfast. This whole routine typically takes about 15-20 minutes, so by the time I’ve eaten, I’m ready for a good, long nap. I typically go to bed with Mom and sleep until she wakes up for work.
Mom works from home, so by the time she gets up and starts work, Dad is already gone and I’m sleeping in his spot on the bed. The other dogs have their own beds in other parts of the house, but I prefer to spend my mornings next to my mom. While she starts her days at 8:45 a.m., I prefer to continue sleeping until at least 10:30 a.m., since my morning duties are handled so early. This is a crucial part of my self-care. I’m simply not my best self without that four-hour morning nap.
By the time I am out of bed, the other three dogs are outside and, if it’s a nice enough day, I’ll join them. But I typically prefer to curl up on the couch or the bed I keep in Mom’s office while she works. She doesn’t often have morning meetings, and spending time with the others outside is a nice, quiet way to start the day. We continue like this, her staring at her computer, and me relaxing nearby until it’s lunch time. She usually forces me to go outside again while she prepares and eats her lunch.
If it’s a nice day, I will run around the yard and chase the younger pups until I am out of breath. We’ll stay outside for a few hours and soak up the sunshine. If the weather is too cold, hot, or rainy, we’ll all hang out under the covered patio while we wait to come back inside. I am not afraid to get vocal when I think it’s time to come back inside, but I have Mom trained to let us in once she’s done with her lunch.
When we do come in, I check the food dishes in case Mom decided to share any leftovers. I get first dibs of what’s there, but Mom always makes sure I share with the others. After so much activity, it’s important that I get a mid-day nap in. Mom’s usually in afternoon meetings and prefers the house is quiet anyhow. The younger pups don’t understand this, so sometimes my afternoons consist of corralling them or being convinced to play chase.
My afternoons always consist of a nap, but Mom often interrupts me for another potty break. She doesn’t make me go out as often as she does the younger ones, but no matter how many times I talk to her about my need for rest, she insists I go out.
The best part of mid-day is our afternoon treat. Mom gives us a chew treat, biscuit, or jerky treat when we come back in. She calls it “bribing us to be quiet,” but if I’m honest, it’s one of the best parts of my day.
Sometimes, we go for an adventure, and I get to meet the vet or join Mom for a coffee and a trip to PetSmart. I set the tone for the other dogs and appreciate that people ask my mom if they can say hello to me before giving me scratches. Consent like this is important to me, because sometimes I’m not in the mood for company. Fortunately, Mom can read my moods and cautions people away when I’m grumpy. I don’t bite, but sometimes I need my space.
It’s Time for Dinner!
After my snack, I like to sit on the back of the couch, so I can see out the window into the front yard. This is where I stay, monitoring the comings and goings of the neighborhood. I stay alert for neighbors walking their dogs and the children coming home from school. I find that a simple “woof” conveys to all parties involved that I am aware of their presence, but the other dogs tend to be more vocal. When Dad gets home, I demand attention and affection from him. After all, he hasn’t seen me all day. Then, I go outside again while Mom and Dad fix their dinner.
I’m not allowed in the kitchen when people are cooking. Despite this injustice, I love my life at home. Once they are done with dinner, we come back in for our own meal. Sharing leftovers at dinnertime is rare, but whenever we get some, it’s always the best, fatty bits of meat, so it’s worth the wait. After dinner, I return to my post on the back of the couch while Mom and Dad chat, read, or watch T.V. It’s a quiet life, but it’s the best.
After a Long Day, It’s Bedtime
I like an early night in. At my age, going out and partying all night is a thing of the past, so once the neighborhood settles in for the night, I retreat to my bed and only wake up when it’s time for a late-night snack.
Mom and Dad are good at understanding my needs and making sure I have enough access to food, healthy snacks, and time to play in the sun. Right now, it’s time to call it a night. I’ve had a long day and I’m exhausted, so I’ll curl up on Mom’s lap and snooze until she decides to go to her own bed. Sweet dreams, everyone!
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